New to home Testing

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Sher bear, Jan 10, 2018.

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  1. Sher bear

    Sher bear New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2017
    Hello,
    I am in Alberta, Canada and my kitty was diagnosed in December.
    I have not home tested at all, I am going to the vet every 2 weeks for his curve exam. He just recently went in on Monday for his first curve and will go in again in 2 weeks.
    Everyone is telling me I should home check him.. though I am at a complete loss as to what to do.

    I don't know any of the lingo people are talking about.. what to do, where to buy stuff etc.
    Going to the vet is not a money issue for me, so I have no problem with taking him there every two weeks.
    A big issue is I'm reading that you have to be home for 12 hours to do the home tests, and my schedule is not that flexible as that I'm home all the time for 12 hours like that.

    Should I just continue on with the vet tests every two weeks.. or try home testing. (my main issue is time)..
    and where to start what to do..

    I'm so lost right now:(
     
  2. donnalea

    donnalea Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    You do not have to be home for the 12 hours. Your cat should get it's insulin shot every 12 hours, after you test and then feed. So if you go to work after, just try to be back 12 hours later for the next test,feed and test. The most important reason we test is to be sure our kitty's blood glucose is high enough to give the shot. Otherwise, you risk hypoglycemia, a serious or fatal condition. When you have some time off, you can do some testing at other times.
     
  3. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    Hello from Ontario.

    You can do a 12 hour test (curve) on a day when you are home. Otherwise, testing before giving insulin (very important) and a couple of random test throughout the day and before you go to bed will help tremendously. One day, these tests might just save your cat's life. A curve done at the vet's shows just one day. Testing at home will tell you if your cat goes too low and is headed towards a hypo.

    A lot of Canucks use the FreeStyle Lite meter - available at any drug store - just ask at the pharmacy counter. It requires a very small drop of blood. The vet might recommend a pet meter (AlphaTrak). The strips are darn expensive. Both types of meters are used on this forum. We can help you interpret the results regardless of what type of meter you have.

    You will also need a box of lancets and a tube of polysporin or neosporin ointment (not cream) with pain relief.

    JanetNJ has an excellent video on how to test: Video I made showing how to test your cat's blood sugar
     
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  4. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Tip: When shopping for lancets look for 28 gauge lancets (slightly thicker lancets used by human diabetics for testing at alternate sites, i.e. not the fingertips). It's much easier to get a blood sample from a kitty using 28 gauge lancets.

    Here are more forum educational posts to help you learn how to home test your kitty:

    Testing and Injection Tips (very good diagram of the testing 'sweet spot' on the kitty's ear in this post)

    Home Testing Links and Tips (contains several how-to videos)

    As you're learning you can post here any time for further help with testing technique, treats to offer, etc.


    Mogs
    .
     
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  5. littleone

    littleone New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2017
    Thank you for these links. :) I"m beginning my daily tests, too. I need to do this. There 6/7 days my kitty is doing so well. Occasionally he will meow through the night looking for water and I can tell he's uncomfortable. I cannot figure it out and I need to test to figure this out. Any time we go to the vet, the blood work hasn't shown anything for kidney issues or anything wrong. We can't figure it out.

    I bought the CVS glucose meter. I'm concerned because it says no coding needed. I've been looking through trying to find the best one for my cat, but can't really find anything in those links. Do you have any recommendations for a glucose meter? Should I keep the CVS one or return it and try another? What do you think?

    https://www.cvs.com/shop/cvs-health-advanced-blood-glucose-meter-prodid-968574?skuId=968574
     
  6. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Glad the links were helpful. :)

    I'm in the UK so I'm sorry I can't help on how good the CVS meter is as a choice. I do know that some meters need coding but others don't.

    I'm tagging @Tuxedo Mom (also in Canada) to see if she can give you a bit of info on meter choices and recommendations in Canada next time she's online. If you don't hear back from her fairly soon I suggest you post a question on Feline Health asking for recommendations on good meter choices in Canada.


    Mogs
    .
     
  7. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Also tagging @Kris & Teasel (another Canadian member) to ask for her input on meter choices in Canada.


    Mogs
    .
     
  8. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    CVS is an American drugstore chain so I'm not familiar with those meters. I have a Freestyle Lite human meter. You can get it free if you buy 100 test strips. Test strips for human meters are expensive in Canada but still a lot less than those for the AlphaTrak pet meter. If you use a human meter there is no coding to be set before use. With the AlphaTrak pet meter you have to set a certain code number that's written on the test strip container.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  9. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
  10. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Sorry I wasn't on earlier.

    I use the AT2 meter with the Freestyle Lite meter as a backup. I like both of these meters since they use a very small blood drop.Most Canadian pharmacies will give you a free meter when you buy the strips. I am in Winnipeg, Manitoba and the best deal I have found here for FS Lite strips is Shopper's Drug Mart. If you are 55 or over ( or have someone you know who is) and you use the Shopper's Optimum reward card you can get 20% off on Thursdays...seniors day. Also every 5 weeks or so they run a special event where you get a $10 Shopper's gift card for each $50 you spend which can be used towards any OTC supplies, such as test strips or syringes. When I combine the two I end up paying $61.99 Canadian for 100 strips. I believe @Wendy&Neko who is in BC buys a different brand online that is cheaper. It is always a good idea to price check the different pharmacies. I found that I get my insulin cheaper at Walmart than at Shopper's so checking around is a good idea.


    ETA When you use the Optimum card you get reward points which can be used towards diabetes supplies since they are OTC. I usually end up with about $200 free each year and I really only shop there for the test strips and syringes.
     
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  11. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    @Tuxedo Mom - Thanks for the great info, Mary Ann! :bighug:


    Mogs
    .
     
  12. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    That's how I buy my Freestyle Lite strips too. :)
     
  13. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Shop around places for the best prices. The Shoppers Drug Mart here is at least 10-15% more expensive than any other pharmacy, so the savings card didn't do anything for me. The cheapest source for diabetic supplies in store in my part of BC is Safeway pharmacy, of all places. Costco and Real Canadian Superstore are a close second. On line, you can buy the Bravo test strips (comes with free meter) for $39.99. Or get a meter you like and shop for test strips on Ebay. I live close to the border, so I cross border shopped for test strips in bulk. I always liked the look on the border guards faces when they asked "most expensive item", and I said "test strips for my diabetic cat". Guaranteed eye roll. :rolleyes::p
     
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